Sunday, 05 July 2015

Petition demands council disbands ALMO

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling on a council to disband its arm’s length management organisation.

Islington Council is currently carrying out a review of the management of its 35,000 homes. The council is considering whether to disband ALMO Homes for Islington and bring management in-house, change the ALMO’s role, or transfer management to another organisation.

It has ruled out a stock transfer to a housing association. A decision is expected to be taken in November.

A website, DisbandHFI.org.uk, which has the backing of Islington Leaseholders Association, is calling for the ALMO to be scrapped to improve service delivery and save money. More than 1,100 people have signed a petition arguing for HFI to be disbanded. ILA argues that the ALMO is ineffective, inefficient and unaccountable.

The petition says: ‘Councils across the country are winding up organisations like HFI, recognising that they do not represent best value for public money, and bringing management of council housing back under direct council control.

‘We need genuine accountability instead of token box-ticking exercises to retain HFI, an organisation which does not have residents’ interests at heart.’

The opposition Liberal Democrat group on the council last October called for a referendum on whether the ALMO should be scrapped. This was rejected by cabinet member for housing James Murray and the Labour group.

James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing, said: ‘The petition sets out very clearly the position of those people who signed it. We will take it into account alongside the responses of nearly 3,000 tenants and leaseholders who responded to the council’s consultation on the future of housing management in Islington.

‘The council’s consultation, which will continue into September, has been overseen from the start by a residents panel who have had independent advice on how to run the process.

‘Our final decision will be lead by the views of tenants and leaseholders, in the context of priorities that include getting value for money in difficult financial times and building new council housing.’

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